Co|Lab, a collaborative space in Falls Church, Virginia, is bringing together the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) community to incubate solutions to complex building challenges.
The facility is dedicated to the research and testing of emerging materials, approaches, and technology that seek to transform the construction industry.
Designed by HITT Contracting and William McDonough + Partners, the state-of-the-art building features a glue-laminated (glulam) and cross-laminated timber (CLT) structure and a glass roof. It is one of the first CLT structure in the state as well as one of the first commercial mass timber buildings in the D.C. metro area. All of the wood in the building (except for the reclaimed maple and cherry harvested onsite) is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified.
Co|Lab has a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) v4 Platinum certification and will also pursue the Petal Certification from the International Living Future Institute (ILFI). It is also anticipated to earn the Zero Energy Certification from ILFI.
Design strategies include an ultra-efficient mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) design, 100 percent light-emitting diode (LED) lighting, a roof-mounted photovoltaic (PV) solar array designed to provide 118 percent of anticipated energy use, zero combustible energy utilized onsite, extensive daylighting strategies, a high-performance façade, and low-flow plumbing fixtures.
“We designed HITT’s Co|Lab based on our concept of building like a tree,” said William McDonough, founder of William McDonough + Partners. “Instead of just talking about minimal environmental footprint and we talk about beneficial environmental footprint—not just minimizing negative emissions—about optimizing positive emissions.”